Record Labels Join Movie Studios in Suing File-Sharing Website Megaupload
Kim Dotcom's fight in court gets tougher. After being sued by Hollywood's major movie studios under the umbrella of the Motion Picture Association of America, now he is slapped with a similar lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association of America for copyright infringement.
Warner Music, UMG Recordings, Sony Music, and Capitol Records claim in their legal papers that Dotcom, the founder of popular file-sharing website Megaupload, is "engaged in, actively encouraged, and handsomely profited from massive copyright infringement of music."
"To ensure a vast and ever-growing supply of popular copyrighted content to which they could sell premium access, defendants paid users to upload popular content to Megaupload's servers," the RIAA members continue slamming the defunct website in their legal complaint.
The plaintiffs say Megaupload bagged around $175 million in illicit profits from the copyright infringement while causing "more than half a billion dollars in harm" to the copyright owners. Over 80 songs by the likes of Lady GaGa, Jay-Z, and Pink are named as evidences in the lawsuit.
According to Reuters, the suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Early this week, MPAA's members like Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Disney Enterprises Inc, and Paramount Pictures filed a similar lawsuit in the same court.
Those added to criminal charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department after the January 2012 raid on Dotcom's mansion near Auckland, New Zealand. The officials closed down Megaupload, claiming Dotcom's practices cost Hollywood studios and other copyright owners more than $500 million.
Dotcom's lawyer, Ira Rothken, responded to the lawsuit, "The RIAA, MPAA and DOJ are like three blind mice following each other in the pursuit of meritless copyright claims. These cases are an assault on cloud storage technology, as cloud storage is a neutral technology that can be used for both good and bad purposes. Megaupload strongly believes it's going to prevail."
Kim Dotcom whose real name is Kim Schmitz is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted. A German national with New Zealand residency, he is also fighting efforts to extradite him from New Zealand to the States to stand trial.
The numerous legal charges his is facing didn't stop him from entering politics. He launched a party last month to challenge New Zealand's general election in September.
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